Connections: spring 2022


Max Edrington retired from his optometric practice of 49 years. He and his wife, Diane, and their three sons have lived in Long Beach, Mississippi, since 1972 after his graduation from optometry school.


Gail Welker Miller was named professor emeritus at York College. She retired after 36 years as an associate professor of biology. She is married to Lester Ray Miller II (’73). 


Rick Adkins is a partner with Arkansas Financial Group. His wife, Maureen Blackburn, served 28 years as a music teacher at the Anthony School before retiring in 2020. The Adkinses served as chairpersons of Opus XXXVII, the black-tie fundraiser for the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra on Nov. 13, 2021. Rick has served on the Board of Advisors for the symphony, chaired the symphony governance committee and served on the foundation board. 


Penny Nichols Burks earned her master’s in curriculum and instruction from Louisiana Tech University in 2002. She retired in June 2021 from Bossier Parish Schools as special education coordinator. She serves on the board for Bossier Kids and SOCKS. She and her husband, Billy, have two children. 


Judy Chism Carte is a retired nursing home administrator. She also was a social worker with Southern Christian Home, Domestic Violence Association of Arkansas, and Adult Protective Services. 


Dan Alessio received the 2021 Association of Firearm and Tool Mark Examiners Walter J. Howe Member of the Year Award for contributions to the organization. He has been a forensic scientist with the Oregon State Police Forensic Services Division for 22 years as a firearms examiner and crime scene responder. 


Greg Lindstrom won first place in the senior division of the international Virtual Tuba/Euphonium Competition. He is active as the principal tuba in the Little Rock Wind Symphony and Natural State Brass Band. He sits in the Immanuel Brass Quintet, Capital City Brass Quintet and Quapaw Brass Quintet. 


Mike S. Allen recently published a nonfiction book, A Murder in Searcy, with co-author Deana Hamby Nall. The book gives an account of a 1974 crime and the subsequent investigation and trials. It has been featured on Amazon’s webpage for “Hot New Releases for True Crime” and appeared on Amazon’s bestsellers list for “New Releases in Biographies and Memoirs.”


Clarence L. Hulse

Clarence L. Hulse, Economic Development Corp. Michigan City (Indiana) executive director, has received the honor of Fellow Member status by the International Economic Development Council. He is credited with creating more than 30,000 jobs and $3.5 billion in direct capital investment during the past 20 years. 


Jason Hurt is a urogynecologist who recently joined the staff at Northwest Arkansas Urology. He graduated medical school in 2002 at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and completed his residency in 2006 at Louisiana State University in Shreveport. 

Axel Liimatta has recently co-written Even the Wind, a book about an F2 tornado that struck Whetstone Boys Ranch, a therapeutic boarding school in the Ozarks. He and his wife, Christine Creasy (’94), helped start the ranch in 2010. 

Trent Eric McManus (HST) received his Ph.D. in education from the University of the Cumberlands. He is an economics and government teacher at Chester County High School and coaches soccer, track and field, and basketball. 


Neil Chilson, senior research fellow for technology and innovation at Stand Together, has launched his book, Getting Out of Control: Emergent Leadership in a Complex World. Previously, he was chief technologist at the Federal Trade Commission. Prior to his appointment, he was an advisor to acting FTC Chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen. He contributes regularly to the Washington Post, USA Today, Entrepreneur and Morning Consult. He holds a Juris Doctor from George Washington University Law School. 


Paul Gower, owner of Lunamark, a driving force in the creation of Little Rock TechFest, was inducted into the Arkansas Academy of Computing as a member of the 2021 class of honorees at a virtual ceremony on Oct. 30, 2021.

Lisa Wilson became certified as a financial paraplanner qualified professional in January 2020. She serves as client services manager at Good Life Financial Advisors. 


Joel Johnson has joined the firm of Williams Mullen as a partner in health care in the Raleigh office. He recently completed his term as president of the North Carolina Society of Healthcare Attorneys. He earned his Juris Doctor from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 


Philip (’06) and Amy Eichman White announce the birth of a son, Silas Asher, Oct. 16, 2021. He has three brothers, Isaac, Titus and Ezra. Philip is a manager at a plywood mill, and Amy is a homemaker. 


Chris Hanvey became manager of proprietary property management/special access employees across Boeing’s defense, space and security. The new role covers multiple Boeing sites across the country.

Judy Plaster Cuellar is director of financial aid and student accounts at Schreiner University in Kerrville, Texas.


Philip (’06) and Tara Skelley Burrows announce the birth of a son, Edwards “Ward” Nichols, Feb. 3, 2021. Philip is an engineering manager for Facebook. They married in 2018 and reside in Memphis, Tennessee. 


Brent Aebi is an ophthalmologist who has joined East Tennessee State University Health. He completed his ophthalmology residency from Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, where he was chief resident. He received his M.D. from Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio, and is board certified in ophthalmology. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and a board member of the Tennessee Academy of Ophthalmology. 

James (’11) and Taylor Lake Kee announce the birth of a son, James Warren “Jimmy,” Sept. 9, 2021. James is in his final year of his orthopaedic surgery residency at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, and Taylor is a homemaker. 

Adam Parker is a South Asia investigations advisor in antihuman trafficking matters for two international nonprofits. Previously, he served with Metro Nashville Police Department from 2009-17, and his wife, Lori Wise (’08), was a newborn intensive care unit nurse at Vanderbilt. They live in South Asia with their three children, Savannah, Jack and Levi. 


Bentley (’98) and Allison Weaver Harrell announce the birth of triplets; two daughters, Sloan Bailey and Sutton Blair, and a son, Beck Carter, March 31, 2021. 


Amanda H. Herren

Amanda H. Herren has joined Cunningham Bounds LLC as an associate. She began her legal career as an assistant district attorney with the Mobile County, Alabama, district attorney’s office. She earned her Juris Doctor from Cumberland School of Law and is a member of the Mobile Bar Association, American Association for Justice, Alabama Association for Justice and the South Alabama Trial Lawyers Association. 

Cory Spruiell is the college and young families minister at Bella Vista Church of Christ in Bentonville, Arkansas. He received his master’s in historical theology from Harding School of Theology in 2020. 


Meagan Spencer is the program coordinator of the Communication Sciences and Disorders program at Freed-Hardeman University. She earned her master’s in speech-language pathology from Harding in 2015 and her educational doctorate from Abilene Christian University.

Josh Stevens has been named to the Oil and Gas Investor 40 Under 40 list. He works in Arlington, Texas, as vice president of finance with U.S. Energy Development Corp. He lives in Trophy Club, Texas, with his wife, Camille Lifsey (’14), and two sons, Charles and Wyatt. 


Weston Jameson was named Abilene Christian University’s women’s basketball assistant coach. He spent last season as an assistant coach at Arkansas State after five seasons at Harding. He and his wife, Lauren Harrison, have three children, Berklee, Kelynn and Harrison. 


Megan Albers, a certified physician assistant, has joined Washington Regional East Springfield Family Clinic. She earned a Master of Science in physician assistant studies from Harding in 2019. 

Noah P. Watson has joined Quattlebaum Grooms & Tull PLLC of Little Rock, Arkansas, where he concentrates his practice on litigation and appeals. He previously served as a law clerk to Judge Lavenski R. Smith of the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. He obtained his law degree from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. 


Katie Conder Coats has joined the NavPoint Real Estate Group as marketing coordinator. She and her husband, Blake (’20), live in Castle Rock, Colorado. 

Categories: Connections.

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